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CH.LXXIII SHORT-LIVED ZAND DYNASTY       371
with unheard-of barbarity, made pyramids of heads of his
own subjects/'l He despatched a force to Kalat-i-Nadiri
which massacred all the members of the family of the
Great Afshar and seized upon his treasures. An excep-
tion was made in favour of Shah Rukh Mirza, a boy of
fourteen, who was the son of the unfortunate Riza Kuli
by Fatima, daughter of Shah Husayn. Adil Shah, after
a short, inglorious reign, was dethroned and blinded by
his brother Ibrahim, who in turn was defeated, made
prisoner by his own troops, and put to death when on
the way to Meshed. Adil Shah was also put to death.
Shah Rukh.—Shah Rukh then ascended the throne.
It might have been thought that his descent and noble
qualities would have made his rule universally acceptable
in Persia, but a rival appeared in the person of Mirza
Sayyid Mohamed, son of a leading doctor of the law of
Meshed. This mujtahid* had married a sister of Shah
Husayn, and his son, by raising the cry that Shah Rukh
intended to continue his grandfather's policy of subverting
the Shia doctrine, collected a force which defeated that
of Shah Rukh. The monarch was taken prisoner and
blinded ; but Yusuf Ali, his general, in whose absence
he had been overpowered, appeared on the scene, seized
the pretender, who had taken the name of Sulayman, and
after blinding him put him and his two sons to death.
Shah Rukh was restored to the throne, with Yusuf
Ali as Regent. Very shortly after this settlement two
chiefs, Mir Alum Khan and Jafar Khan, commanding
respectively a body of Arabs and a body of Kurds, de-
feated Yusuf Ali, and of course blinded him, while the
ill-starred Shah Rukh was relegated to prison. Needless
to say the two chiefs speedily quarrelled, Mir Alum was
the victor, and the vanquished Jafar Khan was added to
the long list of blind men.
Ahmad Shah, who had rapidly consolidated his power,
had advanced from Sistan on Herat in A.D. 1749- Shah
Rukh had despatched Yusuf Ali to meet him, and it was
during his absence on this duty that the Shah had been
1 Hanway, iL p. 451,
8 Mujtoted signifies literally " one who strives (after knowledge)."